Yamila Ohaco Urbani. Football World Cup: sports, business, politics? “What is the reason for the football World Cup to be considered such an important sporting event? ” is a question that has triggered widespread debate since time immemorial. Sports, business and politics are popularly believed to be the different options that can be chosen to explain why this event is so essential worldwide. However, in my opinion the three factors should be considered to cause this tournament to be such an important one.
First of all, among many other events, the World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event, as a result of football being such a popular game in the world. During the period the World Cup takes place, most people all over the world, even the ones who do not like football, are concentrated on their country’s results in this tournament. Furthermore, football fans show that their emotional status is affected by the results of their favorite country in the matches.
Secondly, the World Cup is not simply a contest between teams, but a gladiatorial battle between brands that turn the tournament into a business competition, such as the case of Adidas and its arch rival, Nike. The first brand mentioned, which has been the official sponsor of this event since 1970, signed a deal with FIFA in order to own the rights to the manufacture of the tournament balls and more World Cup-related merchandise.
As a result, Adida’s sales spiked and the company had already earned three times the money invested before the tournament took place. In response, Nike’s resource was to emphasize its existing sponsorship of individual teams and players, making use of colors that would catch the audience’s attention. All in all, the World Cup is an event that can be considered by some as a clear opportunity to WIN in the market. Lastly, the Football World Cup is also considered to be the perfect moment to do politics.
In the year 1998, Joseph Blatter, the current president of FIFA, was running for presidency of the association. In order to win over the other candidate, who was the favorite at that time, Blatter added to his proposals the fact that he would support South Africa to host the World Cup. As it was expected, this resulted in many African representatives changing their votes to support him. Twelve years after the ‘promise’ was made, the tournament was held in South Africa, despite all criticism. This is simply ne example of how significantly politics affects one of the most important characteristics of this prestigious event, its location. Taking these points into consideration, I am truly convinced that one factor alone does not determine why the football World Cup is so essential for people all over the world; because sports, business and politics together affect the tournament’s development and importance and they show the different interests that exist among the ones involved in this tournament.